Today ECDC starts publishing the West Nile fever maps for the 2013 transmission season.
On 31 May 2013, the office of epidemiology of the Astrakhanskaya oblast, Russia, reported four human cases of West Nile fever. In this oblast, cases have already been detected in 2010-2012 but, this year, the transmission season appears to have started much earlier than previously: last year the first cases were found in June. In this context, ECDC started the systematic screening of WNF cases reported in Europe this week and today publishes the first weekly map.
As of 6 June, no West Nile fever cases have been reported in EU countries.
The weekly report comprises maps showing the present geographical distribution of the reported autochthonous human cases in the EU and the neighbouring countries and its comparison with previous data; as well as a situation update and a table on the number of cases according to countries and areas. It will be posted on the ECDC website every Friday afternoon – the information is based on cases reported up to the Thursday of each week.
In 2012, ECDC monitored the West Nile fever situation during the 2012 transmission season (June to November) in the EU Member States and neighbouring countries: 242 autochthonous cases were detected in the EU and 693 in neighbouring countries, as of 5 June 2013.
The objective of the project is to inform the competent authorities responsible for blood safety of areas with ongoing transmission of West Nile virus to humans in order to support their implementation of blood safety legislation. According to the EU blood safety legislation, the EU Member States must initiate control measures to ensure blood safety in the event of cases/outbreaks of West Nile fever, a major challenge for the implementation of this regulation being the timely collection of accurate information about affected areas. (Read more about the West Nile fever maps)
Weekly maps on West Nile fever cases in Europe